Regional
9:27 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

TEA Party Favorite Cruz Wins Texas GOP Senate Nomination; Dewhurst Concedes

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz says his victory in a primary runoff for the GOP Senate nomination is a testament to the hard work of tea party leaders and other grass-roots conservatives.

Cruz, who has never held political office, beat Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Tuesday's runoff.

Cruz told a crowd of more than 200 supporters at a Houston hotel ballroom that every conservative in Texas came together and won the runoff. He thanked his many supporters, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Cruz was joined on stage by his family.

He says if he wins in November, he will work to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, "stop the out of control spending and turn around our national debt."

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he's called opponent Ted Cruz to concede the GOP primary race for U.S. Senate.

Dewhurst told supporters Tuesday in Houston that his campaign "got beat up a little bit, but we never gave up." He thanked Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP establishment that backed him in the race.

Dewhurst was soundly beaten Tuesday by Cruz, whose insurgent campaign was fueled by tea party support and funding from national conservative groups.

Dewhurst was once considered the strong favorite to win the GOP nod. But many conservatives attacked his stewardship of the Texas Legislature.

Dewhurst said Tuesday that he would not stop fighting President Barack Obama and trying to "recapture the freedoms" taken from Texans.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.